Parvati Magazine February 2014 - Sobriety - Page 28

COMMUNITY CONTINUING CARE In Recovery R elapse, or the fear of relapse, is one of the most challenging aspects addicts face in maintaining recovery. Whether the individual has stopped drug or alcohol abuse, smoking, disordered eating or any number of harmful behaviours, the anxiety around starting up again is daunting. Following any type of recovery treatment or after one or more periods of abstinence, the stress around wanting to stay clean can sometimes drive the person back to their old habits. In some cases shame and guilt may even result in suicide attempts. It is important to understand and accept that ‘slips’ are common and can be recognized as temporary setbacks, and that healing from a long term addiction is a process that requires effort and support. During treatment – especially if the treatment takes place in a safe environment away from the triggers and temptations of home – individuals are surrounded by supportive caregivers who offer positive reinforcement, a toolbox of coping skills that includes relaxation and meditation techniques, massage, yoga, physical exercise, healthy meals and plenty of rest, as well as appropriate therapy to help address the causes of the addiction. At the end of the treatment, recovering addicts leave with new ways of being with self and others, a new perspective and plan to establish new healthy patterns in their lives. Once back home, however, people need to be very focused and determined to continue practicing their new ways of being with self and others on their path to full recovery. It is necessary to nurture the new lifestyle routines in order to give them a chance to become fully ingrained habits. The first few months are the most difficult. Along with a positive approach to living a new life, the support and love of family and good friends are keys to success. Those who participated in the four-week treatment program at the Chopra Addiction and Wellness Center automatically become part of the Center